Tag Archives: Rockman

Composers: Bun Bun (Yasuaki Fujita)

Yasuaki Fujita’s career as a composer started with a baby… and man in a blue helmet.  As an in-house composer for Capcom, Bun Bun spent most of his career crafting sound effects for numerous titles and overseeing various sound production teams as production manager.  His legacy, however, lies in the composition of one single theme.  Let’s explore the career of Yasuaki Fujita, another composer who should be on your radar.  Let’s see why!

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Research in Game Music: Complete NES Audio Mapper List

I recently stumbled upon a mostly complete list of all the mappers used to create NES/Fami video/audio playback.  If you recall, I spoke about the Lost Sound Expansion Chips of the the NES a while back.  Essentially, the US NES lacked a connection pin that allowed 3rd party software companies to provide sound modules that allowed for extra sound channels and voices.  A real shame.

At any rate, I found a list from tuxnes.sourceforge.com that essentially labels and spells out what each of your favorite games used for an audio mapper.  While the author, lugnut@hotmail.com, states that this list is far from complete, it is an invaluable resource in getting a general idea in the exact formats of the audio playbacks and the added size/features of each game.  Definitely worth checking out.

Bigass NES Mapper List ver. 0.1

Some thoughts:

  • Many US NES games use the MMC1 or MMC3.  As in, most of them.  The MMC1 to allow Nintendo cartridges to save via battery backup.  The MMC3 added the ability for a screen to scroll while leaving a status bar motionless at the top of the bottom.  Hence, you can see why this was used for Super Mario 3 and the Mega Man series.  As you can see, there are some games with MMC1 that clearly had the capability to save and did not offer it- most notably Mega Man 2.  That would have been awesome.
  • This list, as the author admits, lacks many of the JP Famicom mappers.  That a shame, to be honest.  However, his reasoning is sound.  It’s tough enough for me to just get my hands on the most basic Famicom games.
  • That even being said, searching “VRC” or any of the other 3rd party chips shows some of the games for which we were not provided the complete fidelity of the music.

At any rate, enjoy the list!


Meet the System: Sega Game Gear

One of the main goals of this blog is to introduce people to each video game console and their sound capabilities.   Today, let’s talk about the Sega Game Gear.

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Fidelity Concerns: Mega Man (Rockman) 1/2/3 and Mega Man: The Wily Wars (Rockman Mega World) continued-

This is Part 2 of my two part analysis of the music from Mega Man:  The Wily Wars.  For Part 1, please click here.

An example of fidelity lost:

I don’t normally revisit previous posts topics so quickly.  After posting a lengthy discourse on the music from this game yesterday, I was listening to my iPod today and found a really quite horrendous adaptation of Mega Man 3 music on the Genesis.  I figure I would post it.  In general, the Mega Man 3 music is not treated particularly well but this one is pretty much the worst.

I also fixed the title and some typos.  He’s known as “Mega Man” here and “Rockman” in Japan- there’s a space.  Oops.  I’m glad no one pointed this out.  I guess I just did though.  Double oops.

Here’s the offending example.  The “Ending- Theme of Protoman” track from the Genesis version of this game is downright awful.  Let’s demonstrate.  Here’s the NES version:

(fixed this link finally – 8/20/13)

The original intention for Protoman is this idea of a whistle-based melody that plays when you meet him throughout the game.  The artists, according to the Mega Man Official Complete Works, mention that Protoman was intended to be neither friend nor foe- an ambiguous character archetype from Japanese anime.  The idea is that he would have a “cool” theme (literally using the word “cool” to describe him).  The artists and the sound programmers worked together closely to develop a true, team-wide aesthetic.  The whistle could be Protoman whistling, to announce his arrival.  I feel that falls into line with the idea of how “cool” Protoman is in the sense of that epic Japanese anime hero genre from which he’s developed.  Either way, when you fight him, part of this theme plays:

(credit:  I apologize for the awful sound quality.  Ouch, my ears.  Clearly done on emulator or something.)

So naturally, the ending theme exposition of this theme is warranted and welcome considering how the game plays out (spoilers, etc etc).  So you’d think they would do a decent job moving this over to the Genesis?  Uhhhh:

(credit:  )

(Yes, that’s me.  This stuff isn’t online so I’m just going to post it.  I’m sick of looking for it.)

I do not like this attempt at creating a “flute” sound or a “whistle” sound.  It is unflattering and shrill.  I think it does execute the “rock ballad” successfully.  Then, you get to about 1:06 and you’re all set for it to go into the modulation and cool solo… and… wait.. what?  The music stops and begins to repeat.  I heard this on my iPod yesterday and was like:  WHAT?!  I couldn’t believe it.  They chopped off literally 30 seconds of music.  That is unacceptable in my mind.  I would love to ask someone who worked on the development team why this happened.  I understand there was a lot of pressure to churn this game out but wow- I don’t see why they couldn’t just spend the extra time and get it done.

More on the music:

I finally received my Mega Man Official Complete Works artbook in the mail yesterday and read some very interesting information about Mega Man:  The Wily Wars.   For one, the game was outsourced for the artwork and design.  Also, as I quoted from Wiki, this was a very disorganized and rushed project.  With book in hand, I can confirm the quote made yesterday.  Keiji Inafune, the lead artist and developer, was not directly involved in any of the decisions, though, he did aid in creating the “Journey to the West” inspired villains for the bonus content.  Thus, I’m not sure if we can really blame anyone in particular over at Capcom for the following Wily Tower stage tracks:

This is the “Huey Lewis and the News” track I was talking about.  Yes.  This is supposed to be a castle of doom.  In fact, it is the second to last stage of the game.

This next track is much more “Mega Man” by comparison though.  It reminds me of the later Mega Man X tracks (like Mega Man X5 and X6):

I really like this track.  It’s like the classic “Mega Man” feel meets epic anime theme song.

Since I’m in the uploading mood, here’s a couple more tracks that were not on YouTube I posted for your consideration:

After this, I should think the subject should be exhausted.  Hope you enjoyed !


Fidelity Concerns: Mega Man (Rockman) 1/2/3 and Mega Man: The Wily Wars (Rockman Mega World)

With the popular success of Mega Man series on the Nintendo Entertainment System, Capcom decided to branch out and release Mega Man for Sega Genesis, a company and console that Capcom rarely worked with.  Capcom was looking to absorb more of the market and since they had very good success releasing Street Fighter II:  Champion Edition (mainly due to the fact that the giant cartridge released for Genesis had enough room to put the four boss characters into the game… a subject to be explored later), they decided they could resell to a whole new group of gamers.

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